AIM: Sarcopenia is common in patients with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis. We investigated the correlation between sarcopenia and other clinical variables, in particular, significant liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases (CLDs). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with CLDs who underwent transient elastography (TE) and bioelectrical impedance analysis between 2015 and 2017 were retrospectively recruited. The sarcopenia index (SI) was calculated as follows: SI = total appendicular skeletal muscle mass (kg)/ body mass index (BMI) (kg/m). Sarcopenia was defined as SI less than 0.789 for men and less than 0.521 for women. Significant liver fibrosis and fatty liver were defined using TE liver stiffness value more than 7 kPa and controlled attenuation parameter more than 250 dB/m, respectively. RESULTS: Of 2168 patients recruited, 218 (10.1%) had sarcopenia. Age, BMI, diabetes, hypertension, fasting glucose, aspartate aminotransferase, and liver stiffness value were correlated positively with sarcopenia (all P < 0.05), whereas male sex, viral etiology, obesity (BMI > 25 kg/m), total bilirubin, and serum albumin were correlated negatively with sarcopenia (all P < 0.05). On multivariate analysis, TE-defined significant liver fibrosis was associated independently with sarcopenia (odds ratio = 1.597; 95% confidence interval: 1.174-2.172; P = 0.003), together with age, male sex, viral etiology, and TE-defined fatty liver (all P < 0.05). Among the subgroups with ultrasonography-defined nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (n = 957), sarcopenia was also associated independently with TE-defined significant liver fibrosis (odds ratio = 1.887; 95% confidence interval: 1.261-2.823; P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Sarcopenia is associated independently with significant liver fibrosis in patients with CLDs. Further studies are required to determine whether interventions to improve muscle mass can improve liver fibrosis.
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